Biology 111Travis Williams

Head Transplant Heres a interesting video i found on youtube its about this neurosurgeon that kept a brain alive in a jar and his experiments with it. He also transplanted a head from one monkey to another and it survived for 7 seven days before the body rejected the head. The only Problem with a head transplant is that you would be paralyzed from the neck down but all your head functions would still work like taste. I just found this very interesting because it actually kind of worked so it makes you think what people can actually achieve.

You can watch it on youtube too:

Dolphin Communication

Not much is known about how dolphins actually communicate with each other or if they have a language like ours. Marine biologists have been studying them for years and know of only a few of their communication abilities. The most common thing people recognize as their communication is their clicks and squeaks. They do all of these noises through their blow hole and not their mouths. They use different pitches and noises that mean different things and warnings. Dolphins also use touch to send feelings and emotions to one another. The muscles used for this communication are also well developed so they can be used to stun fish before eating them. They can also use their noise as a echolocation in low light like bats so they can constantly see. Scientists believe much of their evolved brains are devoted to making these noises and using them for communication.

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Bear Hibernation

How do bears hibernate and why? Bears have an instinct that begins as soon as mating season is done and the cool weather begins. They start to eat a high fat diet and eat plenty of berries and roots along with animals. Bears eat more plants to gain the weight required for the winter that their body will eat away at. While they try to gain weight they also make a burrow which is 2 and a half feet wide and 3 feet long. They are extremely cramped to stay warm and even more if the bear has cubs. This is the other reason for the hibernation, bears have their cubs during this season and they grow and learn from their mother. They drink the milk from the mother which is where most of her fat goes into making and over winter she almost starves to death just to keep her cubs alive. When the Bear actually sleeps during this their heart slows to 40 beats per minute and their temperature drops to 88 degrees Fahrenheit. Hibernation is a good technique for the cubs to survive and also for adult bears to get through harsh conditions and survive shortages of food. (n.d.). Retrieved from

New Equipment for the Blind

Scientists have been working on a way for the blind to see in some way. They have developed with with blind people a hat a person wears that emits an ultrasound like a bat would and creates a sound image. Using this equipment a person would be able to see objects through the use of sound. An example of how this would work is if a sound is if a sound bounces off an object on your left the noise would reach your left hear sooner then your right and the intensity would be how far away the object is. I found this interesting because of the all the implications it can be used for. Just think of how a blind person would feel like if they could some what see in a way after spending a lifetime of not being able to see.

Discoveries and break throughs. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Audiology online. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Is Standing Exercise?

Researchers at the University of Missouri have found out one reason for obesity. The reason they found is that people sit to much. When we sit down our enzymes used in burning and disposing of fat shut down. In todays society people spend a lot of time sitting meaning they don't get rid of their fat. But when people stand it uses some of our largest muscles in our legs burning fat and just moving around a room will help. Standing has been said to burn up to 60 calories an hour and in some people that can make the difference. They also found that people who sit have a larger chance of heart attacks and strokes because fat builds and clogs arteries while people who stand burn fat and help with their health.

Discovery and breakthroughs. (n.d.). Retrieved from
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Why does our hair go Gray?
Scientists in Japan have found the reason for this. They have found that that when the melanocyte stem cell splits one produces pigments and the other forms another stem cell for growth. But they found that the pigment cells wont come back because of the stress and radiation of everyday life. Thats right radiation stressed cells cause grayness when your older. Emi Nishimura found that these cells dieing off is a way for our bodies to shed cancerous radiation from stress.

Radiation is what turns your hair grey.
Discover, 76.

Are there more animals around the equator just from the warmth?

Well no but the variety of animals does have to do with the warm of the tropics. Evolutionary ecologist Len Gillman compared related pairs of species. In each case one of the organisms lived higher then the other and he found that the ones in warmer places had mutations 50 percent quicker then their closely related relative in a colder place. So what does this mean, well it means that animals in warmer places are evolving twice as quickly as an animal that lives in the arctic. This could mean that the next step in human evolution will be located around the equator.

Tropical heat speeds up evolution.
Discover, 82.

Barreleye Fish

The Barreleye fish has a see through head and its eyes are deep inside of it. They do not look straight out like ours do or like any other fish instead they look straight up. They are buried under its jelly like shield of a head and they are protected from stinging animals which is the main source of its food. They mostly steal from food jellyfish are eating and and try and get away before being attacked. Only one has been captured and put on video and they are a new creature for biologist to study
Video: gaze of the see-through fish.
Discover, 49.

Possible missing link has been found!

Anthropologists working in the Afar desert which is in Ethiopia have uncovered an ancient human believed to be the missing link at the base of our family tree. Scientifically known as Ardipithecus ramidus but to everyone else as Ardi gives us a new look at our own past. The modern belief is that we came from hunched over apes that roamed the plains but earlier in history Ardi did not. Instead Ardi walked straight up and down, was only four feet tall and on average weighed 110 pounds. Scientists and Anthropologists have discovered that ancient humanoids didn't roam the plains but lived in jungles and preferred the woods to open ground. Along with our own ancestors they also uncovered antelopes and bats and all sorts of early plant life that lived 4.4 million years ago with our ancient ancestors. The rest of this article is very interesting and is in the discover magazine thats all about the top stories of 2009.

Meet your new ancestor .
Discover, 22.

Where did Oxygen come from?

Well a Canadian biologist thinks he has figured out how. According to him two and a half billion years ago is when it all started. Up until this point our atmosphere was mainly methane and other gases with little oxygen for advanced life to form. During this period the nickel levels being put into the oceans by volcanoes started to decline. The decline was over millions of years but 50% of the nickel in oceans around the world dropped causing the following. The ocean which was full of methanogen bacteria relied on this nickel to survive. With no food source the number of these bacteria started to decline making room for cyanobacteria, which produces oxygen. Now the world was starting to get low levels of oxygen which allowed more complex and advanced organisms to form and grow. So with out the planets involvement in lowing nickel levels people would not be here today.

Oxygens odd origin. Discover, 77